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The Gold-Bug

The Gold-Bug is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe published in 1843. The story, set on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, is often compared with Poe's "tales of ratiocination" as an early form of detective fiction. Poe submitted The Gold-Bug as an entry to a writing contest sponsored by the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper. His story won the grand prize and was published in three instalments. The narrator tells of his friend, William LeGrand, who moved to an island off the coast of South Carolina in disgrace after losing his family fortune. LeGrand lives there in a tiny hut with a former slave named Jupiter. When the narrator comes to visit LeGrand one day, LeGrand tells him about a golden-coloured scarab, or beetle, that he has found and given to a friend who wanted to examine it further. When LeGrand tries to draw an example of the beetle, the narrator says that it looks more like a human skull. Upset, LeGrand takes the drawing back and prepares to throw it into the fire to destroy it. Suddenly, he stops and looks more closely at the paper, and with a sound of surprise, he puts the paper away. A month later, the narrator comes to visit again. When he arrives, he finds that Jupiter is worried because LeGrand has been wandering the island and writing down strange calculations obsessively for the past few days. You can listen online to free English audiobook “The Gold-Bug” by Edgar Allan Poe on our website.

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